Do you have a Prepare & Practise philosophy?

My son is making a presentation at school. He has copied the words, created lovely diagrams and has been practising on our 'stage' for three days. He's feeling confident and showing no signs of anxiety! Phew! I believe I've done my job as a parent.

When I asked a group of adults "do you prepare & practise your tough conversations?"' I wasn't surprised when two hands shot up in the air! The others looked surprised and agreed that they have adopted the 'just give it a go' philosophy or 'I'd rather avoid it' approach.

I have been involved in and observed too many protracted performance management dilemmas and when you delve into the data it generally has a common denominator - a conversation gone wrong or not had!

Preparing what you want to say and share - by writing, typing or dictating doesn't take very long to do. 

However, with all the busyness we don't generally make 'get it right' time. And the consequence is a touch of stress! I find when you write what you want to say, you toy with the words as you realise it isn't clear and could be heard differently to your intent.

Practising what you want to say can involve a role-play with a trusted colleague or mentor or gathering the team to provide feedback when you rehearse.

Most folk will say "that was worth my time practising" and rarely have I heard, "that was a waste of time." And many say "that allowed me to change my choice of words".

Next time you have an important presentation or conversation - prepare & practise. It's the right Practice Philosophy.